Notes: Linebrink returns from migraines
Danks works extra side session after four-inning stint
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Severe migraines had kept Scott Linebrink off the mound and pretty much out of commission for the past two days. In fact, Linebrink had not pitched since March 2 before his one-inning return on Saturday against the Giants.
So, even factoring in the one run allowed on two hits in the fifth, Linebrink simply felt good being back in action at Tucson Electric Park.
"I felt pretty good, considering," said Linebrink with a smile. "When I was in the bullpen warming up, I was all over the place. But when I got out there, I felt like I settled down."
Linebrink originally was scratched from working two innings during Wednesday's game against the Rockies when he suffered his first migraine. A second migraine often is triggered by the initial problem, according to Linebrink, a scenario which played out again this week.
In three Cactus League outings to date, Linebrink has allowed three earned runs on seven hits over three innings. The veteran reliever doesn't seem overly worried by the lack of early success, buoyed by the fact he has been able to consistently work down in the zone.
"At this point, you can't look at results," said Linebrink, who is scheduled to pitch Monday against Seattle and Wednesday against the Rockies. "During the last couple of times out, I felt strong and I was throwing the ball where I wanted. My offspeed stuff also has been good.
"I'm just not getting results yet, but that will come. Eventually, you want to see scoreless innings come up. But I still probably have another six or seven outings. There's plenty of time left to work on some stuff, and I'm glad this setback happened early instead of later."
Going the extra mile: For the second straight start, John Danks needed about 20 extra pitches via a side bullpen session in order to get up to his prescribed pitch total for a given day's work. That bonus bullpen time is a good sign for his spring progress, according to the southpaw.
"It's good because I'm making them hit the ball early, and my defense is playing well behind me," said Danks, who threw right around 60 pitches between his four innings against the Giants and his extended bullpen work. "It was shocking with the way I felt in the second to have to throw 20 more pitches."
Danks worked four innings for the first time this spring, giving up one run on three hits. It was an outing in which manager Ozzie Guillen applauded the way Danks bounced back from a slow start but also an effort in which Guillen would have liked to see a few more strikes from his No. 3 starter.
Through three starts, Danks has given up eight hits over nine innings. But more importantly, he has walked just two and fanned eight.
"I wasn't as sharp as I was the last two outings, and the one walk, I could have done without that," Danks said. "It took me a couple of innings to get in a groove, but everything was working good."
Bounce back ability: Friday's split-squad drubbings at the hands of Los Angeles and Arizona, respectively, actually helped Guillen find the greater good in his team during Saturday's 6-4 victory.
"When we play the way we played yesterday and the way we played today, it's the difference between this ballclub and the past," said Guillen, referring to Friday's combined 21-1 setbacks. "Yesterday was horrible for both teams, but we've been playing pretty good ball."
"They know if it was up to me, I would be out there," Owens said. "That's why they shut me down until Monday. We'll try going out on the field, letting it go and see how it feels."
Guillen said the team is still waiting to gauge the left shoulder strength for Carlos Quentin before returning him to the lineup. Closer Bobby Jenks was unavailable on Saturday after having a molar pulled.
Ready for action: Jack Egbert, who made his presence known within the organization with a 12-8 record, 3.06 ERA ad 165 strikeouts over 161 2/3 innings for Double-A Birmingham in 2007, makes his Cactus League debut on Sunday. Egbert has been sidelined this spring by inflammation near his right elbow.
Around the horn: The 6-7 White Sox did not pick up their sixth win until the 17th game last spring. ... Alexei Ramirez makes his first Cactus League game start at second base Sunday in Peoria against the Padres. ... Mike MacDougal pitched a perfect inning in his second straight relief appearance, striking out two.
Up next: The first of two Cactus League matchups between the White Sox and Padres features Jose Contreras against Randy Wolf in Peoria, Ariz. on Sunday afternoon. Contreras has allowed one run in six innings, covering two previous Cactus League starts.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.